Archives For Curation

A few years ago I started a series called “Metadata Month” (series 1, series 2). That explored how to add the valuable bonus text info known as metadata to sound effects to aid searching and using field recordings.

In one of those posts I took a stab at listing every “metadata app” capable of managing sound libraries, browsing sound clips, using and adding metadata, and transferring sound files.

There were 15 apps in that post. Well, it’s been three years and things have changed. Recently I refreshed the post with new info.

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Recently sound effects metadata app Soundminer added an often-requested sound library curatorial feature: it is now possible to apply both category and subcategories to sound fx listings at once. What’s more, Soundminer provides a list of categories from a pre-defined list, making a once tedious exercise swift and simple.

Calls for the feature had been floating around for a while. Last month Tim Nielsen (Lord of the Rings, Avatar) posted on Facebook revisiting the idea. Well, the team at Soundminer took the concept and ran with it.

Today’s post will explain the value of working with a pre-defined category and subcategory to sound effects. It will share how to use the new Soundminer features. Finally, I’ll include step-by-step instructions for creating and adding your own custom category and subcategory list to Soundminer, and also one from the Airborne Sound library that you can use yourself.

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During the last month we’ve explored a lot of ideas about classifying sound effects. The first post shared sound fx library categorization basics. The next had 13 tricks and tips for classifying field recordings, and last week shared a brief guide to creating your own category tree.

Now let’s learn how you can apply categories and subcategories to your sound library.

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What’s the best way to organize your sound effects, field recordings, and sound design clips?

The last two articles have explored ideas. The first post shared sound fx library categorization basics. Last week’s article included 13 tricks and tips for categorizing a sound library. Those shared the concepts. What does this look like in practice?

Today’s post describes a quick workflow for creating your own sound fx library category and subcategory list. The post also deconstructs a sample field recording tree. It shows the thought process behind building a category and subcategory list that you can use as inspiration for building your own method of classifying sound effects.

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Your sound effects library is overflowing with new tracks. How can you wrangle all your sounds so your fans can find what they need easily and accurately?

Last week’s article shared one idea: organize your field recordings and sound design clips in categories and subcategories. That introduced sound effect categorization, the theory behind sonic grouping, why it matters, and ideas such as nesting, broad and narrow categorization, and two methods for naming your categories.

Today’s post shares quick categorization tips and tricks for classifying your sound effects.

Note: the rest of this month will be dedicated to sound library curation and categorization.

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You’ve been at it for years. Every weekend you’ve ventured out and captured dozens of fresh field recordings. Now, your hard drive is bursting with sound effects. There are thousands. How do you sort them all? How can you find the clip you want?

The first place to start is by writing a good sound file name. Other metadata fields follow, such as description, track title, and others. Once you’ve captured many similar sound effects, it’s helpful to collect them all in one spot. This is done by placing similar clips within a category and subcategory.

What are the best sound effect category and subcategories? How do you name them? Is it better to have dozens, or a select, chosen few?

Today’s article explores those questions. It shares why categorization is important for large sound libraries. It delves into the theory behind sonic grouping. The post includes lists of sample categorization trees you can browse and use yourself.

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How can you improve your sound effect’s impact?

Part of this begins with each track’s name. I wrote earlier about why a sound effect’s name is vital, and shared 15 tips for naming sound clips.

Not every sound effect has a perfect name. And, in the case of legacy DVD or CD libraries, they may have barely any name at all.

It’s easy to correct a single name, or even a dozen. What happens whey you find yourself working with a collection of thousands of unnamed files? No one has time to fix a horde of mysterious files one at a time.

So, today I’ll finish off the second “Metadata Month” by showing how you can do this more quickly using batch renaming.

Many metadata apps can rename sound libraries. However, the apps can be expensive. Batch renaming does this simply, free of charge or inexpensively, often using just the apps included with your OS.

It’s not hard. You don’t need to be a power user. However, it is a bit more involved, and does require concentration. Set aside some time, grab yourself a coffee, and settle in. I’ll guide you through the process.

Please note: I am very detailed. This post should take about 12 minutes to read. Click the button below to email the article to yourself to read later.



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